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2015 In review

Before we get too far into the shiny new world of 2016, let’s take a look back at 2015 which already seems “so last year!”


exercise not food

Isn’t it fun to look back on your resolutions / goals / whatever and see how you did?


2015 Goals:

1. Complete the 6 month Transformation Challenge (ends May 4th) and lose 10% of body weight

2. Keep the 10% of body weight off

3. Run a mile (this WILL be the year)

4. Tackle some landscaping in the yard (endless possibilities!)

5. Knit a blanket (I want to learn – time to buy some needles!)

6. Fully rehab the leg (my leg’s been bugging me for months. Time to foam roll, stretch, ice and do whatever else to get over this!)

Well… I did lose 10% and then proceeded to pack it right back on along with a few friends. <facesmackondesk>. We got a few estimates for landscaping but then people didn’t get back to us to schedule… and that one just didn’t go anywhere. Run a mile? Sigh – I am STILL not 100% on the leg thing and with my compressed disk injury as well, it’s a bumpy start to this year as well. On the positive side, I started knitting and that fueled interest in learning a new crochet pattern which I’m in the process of finishing up.


It’s weird looking back now but in February last year we were in Riviera Maya with our PA friends. It was our first planned vacation after meeting during our honeymoon and it feels like they are family. All I can tell you is the vacation was amazing and there’s nothing like getting away from WI in the middle of Winter!


I was trying to find protein-filled quick meals and became addicted to smoothies. I’m really glad I saw this post because it reminds me how delicious they were… need to make more this weekend!!!


(Easy to make smoothies!)


March was NICE on the weather front – sort of like December. I took this picture on March 16th:


I’ll take that any year! March is so up and down with weather. One year we can be under 5 feet of snow and the next there is hardly a spec.

In March I re-started a less successful attempt at Ideal Protein… no doubt to help erase months of WI winter inactivity as well as too many ooey gooey brownies!



There were lots of firsts in April. Alex grabbed a few friends and ran a 55 mile relay race. His team took second overall! Ben and I were there to cheer him along the way on a COLD and windy morning. (I was not sure how he did it in shorts!)


I also went to a class on herb gardening. There is SO much to learn and I’d like to incorporate more home-grown herbs in cooking and one day even dabble into teas.


We are really clean (the strict diet helped) and I still believe that routine is what makes it work. I found meals that were on-diet for me that still were filling and interesting for Ben too.




I sort of, kind of think May is my new favorite month of the year. As you all know, I’m more than a little bit obsessed with crabapples, green grass and perfectly lovely temperatures.


One thing I remember about May was the first time I started getting severe knee pain. I attributed this to more walking after months of minimal activity…


My tulips… I miss them now buried under a pile of snow.


In May Ben worked on painting our deck. During the sanding he ended up tweaking his back which would lead to months of chiropractic and eventually two steroid injections to help with the healing!!!


Let’s hope for no new injuries this year, ok??


June was our first of a whopping THREE baseball game trips we went to Milwaukee for. Alex threw out the first pitch and made it all the way to the mound. What a fun moment!

SO Brewers2

My lilac trees grew taller than me despite Ben’s urging to trim them back a little (NEVER!!!!). Haha ha


And I started a really, really slow walking program. I was trying to work up to walking a half marathon. I would do long walks over the weekends and have Ben chase after me with homemade Gatorade and tons of encouragement. ❤



July was sunshine and beautiful flower beds…


And our Pitts. BFFs arrived on the hottest weekend of the year for some baseball and tons of laughter


But honestly, the month was utterly focused on the events leading up to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in LA. Alex was one of 3 WI athletes and the send offs, press coverage, and anticipation were just amazing.

leaving WI


All. About. The. Olympics.

I’m not sure if anything in August is worth mentioning with the Olympic swagger going around. From the utter agony of missing out on a medal during the 10,000m to the crazy appeal to review the footage, there wasn’t a moment I don’t vividly remember.

In fact, I still remember slogging a mile up Long Beach one wickedly hot morning so we could give Alex a final boost in the half marathon. He raced by while I screamed until I was hoarse. We missed seeing him cross the finish line but I know that last push was what he needed.

And then we had our Gold.

HM Finish

I’m not sure if I’ll ever not get choked up thinking about that day. I was crying and my hands were shaking trying to post an update to Facebook.

Alex Podium

How often does someone win gold AND set a US National record at the same time??

Four hours later we had gold #2 in the 4×400 M relay

Alex Medals


While it was mostly All About Alex in August, Alex did take Matt and Ben along with him to scale down Lambeau Field for a Special Olympics fundraiser. Those boys are way, way braver than I!!



While August was run, run, run, September was time for a little rest. We enjoyed a late celebration for my birthday and enjoyed our very first fondue meal. We’re hooked!!


And it was anniversary #1!! We made it a full year!! (Ha)


We’re so adorable. ❤

Oh yeah, and our garden was overrun with hybrid mutant peppers. Holy pepper!


And we had TONS that we sliced, diced, froze, and stuffed. I was really glad when I was done cutting peppers. We may cut back this year. 🙂



October was the Packer game where I found “turf” under my seat. A winner at Lambeau Field!!

turf picture

And many walks so I could get my fill of the Fall color…


It’s gone way, way too fast.

Ben’s favorite part of the month: I made him apple pie!




Mexico returned.

We splurged a bit this year and went on two vacations. Home remodeling plans were put on hold and stressed out souls went South for relaxation and REST. It’s been a really stressful 6+ months at work and I needed a trip away. When I casually sent a palm tree emoticon to our BFFs with a question mark, I had two enthusiastic thumbs up within the hour and the planning was on.

So much good food and mostly good weather but the real benefit of most vacations is the time away from work stress, home stress, whatever stress and the ability to live on a totally random time table. You wake up, eat, and sleep when you want. You don’t have to cook or clean. Yes.


It took a little coaxing but we managed our first Thanksgiving on different days!!! It was SO much more relaxing and enjoyable to be able to fully enjoy the meals our mothers cooked without picking and nibbling because we had to save room or were already too fully. Plus, we had more time to sit and enjoy time with each family. We’re hoping this is something we can finagle next time around too.




Our Turf Event finally happened and Ben and I were able to get our pictures taken with three Green Bay Packer wide receivers!!  Woot! Woot!


Work stress was at an all-time high in December despite the fact that I was off for practically 2 weeks of it!! Once vacation set in I spent many days on the couch reading, drinking coffee, and staring at the tree.


We were masters of the kitchen Christmas Eve and whipped up caramel puffcorn, sweet potato casserole, wassail and three kinds of cookies.


Record highs meant my first Christmas without snow (totally OK) and a snowstorm just two days after. Even as I’m typing this the road outside our house is icky, slick, and packed with snow and ice.

And I’m almost done with my Christmas puzzle.


It was quite a year with some real highs and lows. Lots of stuff on the horizon in 2016. I’m a little anxious but hopeful. Here’s to 2016!




One Response

  1. You certainly packed a lot into your year! Here’s to a great 2016 😀

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